Bingo Square: Listicles
I had actually seen this novel on at least one Book Riot list, and downloaded it a while back since it was part of Kindle Unlimited but it wasn’t going to be my original selection for Listicles. I played with making it “And So It Begins” but read another book that fit that category first. Still, I wanted to include this novel somehow (especially since I liked the idea of having three pirate related novels on my Bingo card), and when I realized my original two potential Listicle selections weren’t working for me (Origin Story and Everything Happens for a Reason – sorry Bill Gates, we define summer reading very differently), I finally found the right fit for this novel.
I think I may have been too excited about reading this one because in the end I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. I feel like I should have enjoyed it more than I did but it wasn’t one were I got too emotionally involved. As I said, I think I subconsciously built up my expectations because I had seen it on a few lists and kept seeing in my Kindle app. I liked the premise, the connections revealed, the turns and twists, and the characters but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat or that concerned about whether they would make it out okay. It was more mild curiosity. I’ll definitely get around to the sequel but have a few other books I plan to read before that, especially since the sequel is not available through Kindle Unlimited.
Nix is the sixteen year old daughter of the ship captain and Navigator of a pirate ship that has the ability to travel through space and time. While her father, Slate, is from modern day New York (this is considered his natural time so whenever a map doesn’t work, he will end up back here), he has only one goal in his mind: to return to 1868 Hawaii, Nix’s birthplace and time, to reunite with Nix’s mother, who died while he was on a trip.
In order to travel to another time or place, all that a Navigator requires is a map from the time and place he wishes to go. Maps can’t be reused, and as long as the Navigator truly believes, he can even visit fantastical and mythical lands with the right map, leading to a variety of useful, magical tools on board.
Slate is obsessed with a return to Hawaii, and fixing his family while Nix fears how this would affect her existence and future. It’s not that she doesn’t want to meet her mother but will she continue to be if Slate somehow finds a way back to his wife and a newborn Nixie? In his obsession, he has left the daily running of the ship, planning and all logistics to Nix, while he struggles with opium addiction. After sixteen years of searching, Slate thinks he finally has found the map (and the scheme) that will finally reunite him with his long lost love.
For most of the novel, Nix does not feel like a sixteen year old girl but that makes sense given her responsibility. Also, traveling through time, she would have been interacting with cultures and societies where 16 was practically adult. It is mostly in her young crushes that her youth is shown, her attraction and deep friendship with her shipmate, Kashmir, from a legendary 18th century Persian land, and her interactions with Blake Hart, a young man in 1880’s Hawaii.
One of the novel’s strength (beyond the historical details and imagination behind it) are the supporting cast, including the other two crew members, and Joss, a mysterious Chinese woman in Hawaii. Plus, since parts do take place in New York, I quite enjoyed the shout out to Katz’s Deli – because if you are going to have a pastrami sandwich, that one is the standard.
Bingo Square: Listicle
Bingo 4 and Bingo 5! Column 2 (Alabama Pink, Cover Art, Dream Vacation, Listicles, This is the End) and Row 4 (Backlog, Listicles, Throwback Thursday, Not My Wheelhouse, And So It Begins)